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Wednesday, 27 July 2011

Not a book blog

In no way shape or form is this blog solely about reading or books, yet here I am writing another post about the books I've been reading. Because this is all I seem to have been doing lately and hence the silence on the blog. I often get into these zones where I read and read and read and read .... well as much as you can with an almost 2 year old anyway!!!

So after my last post I quickly finished that book. The ending was not what I was expecting and I was actually kind of disappointed but at the same time I guess it made sense. Real life doesn't always have a happy ending and sometimes fictional stories don't either :(

I quickly moved on to another bookclub book - another book contributed by my friend Hanna and one that everyone urged me to read - Madeleine by Kate McCann. It seems sometimes I am the guinea pig to advise on what might be good. A role I take on happily, but not necessarily a fitting role as I am not the most critical reviewer when it comes to books.

But I digress ... Madeleine ....

Madeleine

I'm sure you all know the true story - child snatched from hotel room while sleeping with siblings as parents dined mere metres away from room. It's an awful, awful, sickening story. And sadly that's how reading it made me feel - sick! Sick to my absolute stomach. And so I did something I hardly ever do. I put the book down and didn't finish it. I just couldn't. It was upsetting me way too much. Even Mr B told me not to continue with it as he could see it was clearly stressing me out. And it's not that it was a badly written. In fact the opening chapters were actually quite interesting as I always enjoy reading autobiographies showing how people live their lives and why they make the decisions they make. But this was too much. And it's not that I thought the parents were wrong for doing what they did. I really have no opinion on that as I think everyone has to make the decisions that they are comfortable with. Would Mr B and I have left our kids alone in a hotel room while we went to dinner, even though the restuarant was only seconds away? No, we would never have done that. But that doesn't mean I think these people were wrong to do so. I just feel so, so, so sorry for them and all that they have lost. And the idea that they may never find Madeleine or know what has happened to her frightens me beyond words. I kept thinking about LL the whole time I was reading the book and I just can't fathom how that would feel. I don't even want to know.

So I moved on ....

To an author that has fast become one of my favourites - Kate Morton. She's an Aussie author and wow does she write a good story. Exactly the type of book I enjoy reading!

The Forgotten Garden

Without giving too much away or writing a review (because as I said earlier I'm not really good at analysing books critically - I either enjoy them or I don't) this is a story of a family mystery. It's told through the voices of several characters but is not confusing in that sense. It starts with a young girl being put on a ship to Australia in the early 1900s, and then focuses on what became of her, who she was, and how she ended up on the ship alone. It had me guessing to the end - the story could have gone a few ways and I enjoy reading something that isn't entirely predictable. I highly recommend this book.

Having now sung my praises, I googled Kate Morton yesterday to see what others thought of her books and interestingly I found mainly negative reviews. It seems some do not like her writing style. Some find it too structured. Others find it too predictable. And one reviewer even likened this particular story to Possession. Surprisingly I haven't read Possession so I can't compare. Yet it goes to show how everyone views things differently, how we all have different likes and dislikes. I LIKE Kate Morton's stories - well the two I've read so far - and enjoy her writing style immensely. But that is just me. I'll let you decide for yourself.

And now I'm reading the sequel to a book I mentioned in an earlier post - Blood Sisters. This book is called A Durable Fire and follows on from the previous novel.

A Durable Fire

These books remind me a lot of Bryce Courtenay's style of writing - an epic tale of tragedy, romance, deceit, lies, mystery and friendships. Not a literary masterpiece in any sense of the word but an enjoyable story nonetheless. I do find the authors go on a little bit as Bryce Courtenay can sometimes do. And you do get a sense that two separate people are writing the story in conjunction with one another. At times there is a disjointedness to the story and often different tones. But despite all that I'm still enjoying the read. And it is set in Kenya so it is satisfying my need to read books set in, or about, Africa.

Which is exactly what I'm going to continue to read next. More on Africa. I bought Nelson Mandela's Long Walk to Freedom before moving to Bots, yet I'm still to read it. After attending bookclub last night and once again having a discussion about African and in particular South African politics, I feel I need to read this book and learn more. I don't enjoy feeling uneducated which I often do at bookclub when these conversations come up. I need to know more, I need to learn, I need to educate myself. So watch this space as I may have more to say on .... books!!!

Happy reading all :) x

Monday, 4 July 2011

Can't blog, reading!

Don't you just love it when you are reading a good book that you can't put down?

I'm there right now.

It's not exactly a good book in terms of literary achievement or brilliant prose. But it is a good book in terms of entertainment value. And it's definitely a Sheridan book.

And what is a Sheridan book, I hear you ask? You know the sort ... Boy meets girl, girl meets boy. Boy and girl both kinda like each other but have to go through a whole lot of other stuff before getting to the good stuff. Well I think they are going to get to the good stuff?? I'm not at the end yet to find out.

But it's got me hooked and I'm finding all I want to do is read. And I love that feeling.

I got the book from bookclub. My friend Hanna bought it and recommened it to me as something she thought I'd like. And she was right.

It's called One Day by David Nicholls

The story spans several decades but each chapter focuses on the same date/day each year and what is going on with the characters on that one day. Of course the guy is charismatic and confident and the girl is self-deprecating and at times somewhat cynical.

If you like a good rom/com then I can recommend you snuggle up on the couch with this book. It's definitely a read on a cold winters day with a cuppa kinda book. And that is exactly what I'm going to go do right now!

Enjoy :)
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